In a vote that was clearly a blow to the anti-immigration rhetoric that has turned the state of Arizona into the most Anti-Latino state in the Union, Maricopa County voters decided that state senator Russell Pearce, the architect behind Arizona's controversial SB1070 immigration law, had to go.
Tonight, Pearce, a Republican, lost his seat to Jerry Lewis in a recall vote. It is the first time a legislator in the history of Arizona has been recalled.
With 100% of precincts reporting, unofficial tallies had Lews at 53.4%, Pearce at 45.36% and Olvia Cortes (who withdrew from the race, at 1.24%. Although unofficiall, Pheonix's CBS5 reported that Lewis was the winner.
As CBS5 reported:
Pearce, a 64-year-old conservative Republican from Mesa, outspent his challenger by more than a 3-1 ratio and painted the recall advocates as liberal outsiders who were targeting him because of his immigration stance.
The recall election was forced by a petition drive. Pearce had support from Gov. Jan Brewer and dozens of other elected Republican officeholders, but he was dogged by disclosures that he accepted numerous free trips from the Fiesta Bowl to out-of-state college trips. He said he took the trips at the bowl's request to help support its economic role in the state.